Keeping a Journal Is Hard

I used to keep a journal. For a period of about five years, I had the discipline to journal daily. This year, I started again. I’ve discovered that keeping a journal is hard.

From around 1999 to 2005, I wrote daily reflections about my life. Somewhere, I have a box full of journals. This year, I decided to do a themed journal. In 1995, Brian Eno kept a diary. He published A Year With Swollen Appendices in 1996 and rereleased it in 2021.

In late 2023, I found Eno’s published diary in a local bookstore and decided to buy it. Then I got the big idea to wait until 2024 to read it, and along with using Eno’s Oblique Strategies cards as inspiration and reflection, start my own 2024 journal.

I started by using paper and pen but quickly decided to go electronic. I know they claim that writing with pen is better in some way, but I’ve become so used to typing that it feels more natural to me these days.

It’s not the writing part that’s hard. I write a lot already. It’s the “daily” part. I journaled daily back during a simpler time. It seems that something has changed between 2000 and 2024. Life seems to have more distractions and drama. Unexpected stressors make daily routine harder than it used to be.

I’ve missed a day here and there and have had to make them up the next day. But I’m keeping up. Still, keeping a journal is hard.

Note: Since first writing this post I decided to give up on the journal project. My life is too busy to have the time to commit to the daily journal. Priorities are important. I’m still working three jobs, being a parent, and keeping this site and other writing and music projects on task. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.